Normal Topic Polygraph Examiner Compensation (Read 3479 times)
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Polygraph Examiner Compensation
Aug 9th, 2002 at 4:43am
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I've read that a polygraph exam costs from $400-$1,000.  My fiance took one that cost him $498.  The examiner spent 2.5 hours with him, and let's be generous and say that the examiner took 2.5 hours to be briefed by my guy's probation officer, set up the machines, and then collate and communicate the results to the probation officer.  This retired former cop is making $100 per hour. 

I'm a financial analyst, and figure my salary plus bonus and benefits work out to about $100 per hour.

The Examiner had to pass a 14 week course, and buy what?  a couple thousand bucks worth of equipment.

To do my job, I had to get an MBA (took me 4 years part-time), and cost me over $80k.  I also had to get several licenses which required further education, and required me to take and pass several grueling 6 hour long tests.

Boy do I feel dumb!  I think we've got huge incentives and extremely low barriers to entry for people to become polygraph examiners.  This is mind boggling when one considers the potential impact these folks have on the lives of others!  Sure, I might make a bad investment call that influences someone to lose a bit of money, but these guys make a mistake (a false positive), and someone loses their freedom, and subsequently their livelihood, and even their families!  I am outraged the more I think about this!!!!

This outrageous compensation with little intellectual investment (or qualifications, for that matter) - not to mention minimal time and money gives these guys plenty of incentive to use whatever means possible to assert their legitimacy.  UGH!  no wonder they delete serious scientific posts from their polygraph place bulletin board.
  
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Re: Polygraph Examiner Compensation
Reply #1 - Aug 9th, 2002 at 7:54am
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chicbette,

$100/hr is not uncommon for a polygrapher. Actually, it's sort of on the low end for polygraph services. Examiners, often with only 8 weeks of training (even barber college is 26 weeks in most states) are hauling in roughly the same per hour as doctors, attorneys, finance professionals, IT experts, etc. Outside of entertainers and professional athletes, I can think of few occupations where one with so little education can earn so much.

It must be noted that since 1988 (the year polygraphy was banned in the private workplace), examiners do not have the same amount of opportunity to ply their trade as these other highly paid professionals.

It should come as no surprise that they so vociferously defend their art.

Also note that false positives are not necessarily the result of "mistakes" on the part of the examiner. Even flawlessly conducted polygraph "tests" produce large numbers of false positives. The problem lies in the technique itself, not in errors with the implementation of the process.

As far as Polygraph Place, I have no idea why they have an accuracy/validity board on their website. In my opinion, there is no point in having that discussion unless both sides are being represented. Discussion allows us to learn from those with different opinions than our own. For this reason, this message board is completely uncensored. Polygraph examiners are free to post, and we welcome them with open arms (and carefully crafted arguments).
  
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Polygraph Examiner Compensation

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